Families, communities, and nations are strengthened during the loss of loved ones when there is closure. A funeral and/or a memorial services usually fills this need. However, there are times when there is no body to bury. Such is the case with bodies of Americans who did not return home from war.
Americans are rejoicing, and many families will finally find closure because North Korea is returning the bodies of American servicemen lost in the Korean War. A crew of U.S. service members recently traveled aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 to Wonsan, North Korea, to collect the soldiers’ remains. The news carried pictures of the retrieval of the bodies.
Fifty-five wooden cases, draped with white and blue United Nations flags, carrying the remains of U.S. soldiers killed during the Korean War arrived Friday in South Korea on the 65th anniversary of the Korean Armistice Agreement, the White House said in a news release.
A solemn honor guard greeted the fallen soldiers at the Osan Air Base outside Seoul, South Korea. U.S. service members methodically carried each small casket – one by one – to their awaiting vehicles. A formal repatriation ceremony will be held Aug. 1, the White House release said.
“Today’s actions represent a significant first step to recommence the repatriation of remains from North Korea and to resume field operations in North Korea to search for the estimated 5,300 Americans who have not yet returned home,” the White House release said.
One may well ask why this bit of news is something that I want to post on my blog. I have a good reason for writing about the collection of the remains of the bodies of Americans lost in the Korean War. I have a cousin who never returned from the war, and my family is anxiously awaiting the identification of the remains. We want to know if our family member is among the fifty-five soldiers who are coming home.
The return of the remains of American servicemen and women is critical for their families to have closure about their deaths. Families, communities, and nations are stronger when all their sons and daughters are accounted for.